Tuesday, 6 December 2016

It's Christmas party time!

Today was puppy party time... so much fun!

Chaos reigns!

Try getting 9 puppies to sit and look at the camera is a highway to hell... so much so I didn't bother to take any pics, but left it to others. This one was taken by Susan who is Molly's puppywalker. Molly is the photogenic one at the back on the right, in Susan's husband's arms. Molly was a proper photo diva, staring lovingly at the camera all the time while all around her chaos reigned.

Games were played, prizes given and then the people ate the food we'd all brought while the pups just continued to have fun with each other.

Now I'm packing my gear ready for London tomorrow. I have a party of my own to go to on Friday, but before that there's meetings to attend, mother to deal with and friends to have dinner with. Some things I'm looking forward to more than others!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Puppy power?

This week has been pretty full-on.

On Monday, Ziggy, a 12-week old Guide Dog puppy came to stay as Alex and Jackie, her Puppy Walkers were off on a jolly. It was supposed to be until Thursday, but sadly on the Tuesday Jackie got taken into hospital with suspected diverticulitis and so Ziggy stayed until today.

I'd forgotten just how exhausting young puppies are... and also how little I get done, but it was so much fun. I also used her stay as an opportunity to brush up on my training skills and, although her sit was pretty good when she came, by the time she left she could sit and wait and down and stay. I was very pleased and Alex was thrilled when he came to pick her up and Ziggy showed off her newfound skills.

Ziggy doing her perfect sit and wait!

On Wednesday I had to go to Glasgow for my biopsy and Ziggy went off to spend the day with Molly (aged 15 weeks) and Folly, (yes that's Guide Dog names for you!), who's a 2 year-old rejected Guide Dog due to her skin allergy. Apparently they had lots of fun. Ziggy was exhausted when she got back.

I was also exhausted as I'd had to drive to Glasgow, get the biopsy done and then drive straight back. There's no news on the biopsy front and won't be for 3 weeks as the doc has gone on his hols. Meanwhile, I have a lovely large scab on my nose, which looks utterly delightful... not! I'm hoping it heals by this coming Wednesday as I have to scoot to London for meetings and Xmas party. I can see me sticking a plaster over the top so I don't frighten the children!

Today has been marketing day. The price of the paperback version of my book, for just one week only, has been discounted to £3.99 ($5.48). I was told it would make a great stocking filler and was charged with taking a pic of Ziggy and the book together... something to do with puppies being able to sell anything. We'll see if that's true or not, but I managed, after not too many attempts to get the perfect pic, as Ziggy's new found down and stay expertise came to the fore.

Ziggy doing a brilliant job!

If you'd like to buy a copy at this incredibly cheap price then do go to:



It's just at this price until next Saturday.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Feeling blessed

I had incredible feedback from the Qiqong course I taught over 2 weekends, this last weekend being the the last one. It has made me feel so lucky.

It's also made me count my blessings.

My friends have been so wonderful and supportive over the last year and all that's happened with my book, Vespa, the other Guide Dog pups I've boarded and even the support I've had with my mother has just been incredible.

Thank you!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

No news is... no news

I went to see the surgeon in Glasgow yesterday about my cancer diagnosis and after a quick look and a chat and a laugh about travels in South Africa (he'd just been and I'm off in January) he pronounced that he'd need to do a biopsy. He then marched me out to the desk and told them, in no uncertain terms, to fit me in next Wednesday.

So there we have it. Nothing to report. Just another long journey from the Borders to Glasgow for another short appointment.

At least this weekend I'm teaching a course just outside Glasgow so didn't have to negotiate the road home as, yet again on a Friday the M8 seemed to be the most disastrous place to be travelling. Accidents, slow traffic and freezing temperatures. Hoping for better on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Secrets and confessions

It's Scottish Book Week and I signed up to give away 25 books. This year's title is 'Secrets and Confessions' and it was lovely to wander down the street and offer free books to folk.

The only problem was that quite a few people thought they were my secrets and confessions!

For example, I took some to badminton today. I gave some to the ladies, who were thrilled and there's a group of men who play at pretty much the same time and today just two of them turned up. I offered them a copy each. Well when they saw the title they said some things that even made me blush! It was hysterical and all in the sports hall collapsed in laughter as I went redder and redder!

Just to set the record straight, I have not, nor ever will, produce a book full of my secrets or confessions, I can promise you that!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A day of strange conversations

Today has been a day of strange conversations.

I have a very old mac laptop that ceased to want to function when I came back from Thailand in July. I kept forgetting to take it into the Apple shop in Edinburgh for it's free check up, but decided I needed to get onto it and today was the day.

A charming guy called Andrea came to help and whilst waiting for my computer to churn into life he asked what I did. There ensued a conversation about writing books and stress and he then asked if I'd like to come and do a talk at the Apple shop to all the people who work there as sometimes they invite people who are interesting. Of course I said yes, so he said to expect an email in a few days. Not sure this will actually come to anything, but it was sure nice to be asked. Oh yes, and it was also nice to know that my computer battery is defunct and not replaceable but the actual computer is functioning just fine, it just needs to be on the power cord the whole time.

After that I went to meet my friend Shirley for lunch, but had a bit of time to kill as she was having her hair done. I went into Jenners and saw some rather lovely Ugg boots that were waterproof and looked rather nice. The first pair I tried on were too small, so an underling was sent off to get larger size and the girl who was serving me started to chat about how much she liked my sparkly ankle wellies. She asked me if they were comfortable and I said 'extremely' and then, as she was looking so longingly at them, I said, 'do you want to try them on?' 'Yes, please,' she said. So there I was in Jenners trying on some boots whilst the sales assistant tried on mine. I didn't buy the Uggs.

Shirley and I had a lovely lunch and after that went shopping and then time to get the bus back to my car. On the bus a rather unkempt looking guy, smelling very strongly of alcohol, sat down next to me and started chatting about the weather and then asked me if I'd just finished work. I told him I was retired and he was incredibly complimentary until I said that I'd become a lady who lunches and had just been out to lunch. 'Had garlic?' he asked. 'Yes,' I replied, feeling somewhat mortified as I popped a mint into my mouth!

Three rather strange conversations all in one day. Hopefully these things just come in threes!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Bad news/good news

Well this has been an 'interesting' week.

The US election was unbelievable and I've been in a slight state of shock ever since. But then given that they voted in George W Bush not once, but twice, well it kind of makes sense that the voting public would go completely off the wall and vote in a (failed?) businessman who hasn't a scoobie about running a country, apart from rhetoricalising all over the place. Oh well... that's what it is and it'll be fascinating to see how things unfold.

The one bit that really worries me is this: apparently Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin get on well. Can you imagine what'll happen the first time one of them disagrees with the other? I'll leave it there I think.

My other bit of news is that I've been diagnosed with a cancerous growth on my nose. I waited almost 8 months for an appointment and now they want to operate next week! I'm off to London and so the op will have to wait. They've given me another for the week after, but I'm thinking of cancelling it until I get back from South Africa at the end of January. I'm not sure I can deal with my mother and Xmas with her in London with half my nose needing to be taken care of too. And then there's flying and being in South Africa. I think I'd rather enjoy myself and have a good time without having to worry about my nose. Luckily it's slow growing and I've had it for a while, so I'm not sure another 3 months will make a huge difference.

But here's some good news to end with: the coffee plants are doing well and also my orchids are flowering again. Hooray! Something good to focus on!